By Dr. Carol Chakua
Let’s talk about one of my favorite topics – DISCIPLINE!
Yap! The D-WORD!
So, when parents come to me, what many are looking for are the tips n’ tools n’ strategies to get their kids to act right. What I do instead, is to help them re-focus – just for a moment – away from the child’s behavior to asking quality questions – questions that will help them create a better environment for these tips n tools to work. Usually, that is the longer route – but, as I like to say – you are growing a human being, not fixing a piece of furniture! 🤰🏾😂
So, what kind of questions do you wanna ask? Let me share a few:
💁🏾”In what frame of mind am I right now?” – The best time to teach our children any lesson is when we are both calm. The lesson lands better.
💁🏾”Why am I disciplining?” – This is the time to pause and ask yourself – what do I want my child to learn from this? What long-term value do I want to teach? I have found that if we are emotionally reactive, our kids focus more on our reaction than the lesson we want to teach.
💁🏾”Why did my child misbehave?” – Behavior is just the tip of the iceberg. Do you understand why your child is misbehaving? A symptom is only a sign that something else needs to be addressed. Approach your children’s misbehavior with curiosity, not with ‘guns blazing’.
💁🏾Is this the best time to teach the lesson I want to teach?
Many of us believe that every misbehavior must be followed by an immediate consequence, because the behavior must be ‘nipped in the bud’. However, discipline is a process, of instilling in children the values they need so that when they are not with us, they can and will still thrive. This process happens over time.